Friday, June 30, 2006

Overheard at the Movies

(As the father of Lois' child comes into question)

"Yo, that Lois, she needs to go on Maury!"

-Man next to me

Earlier:

"Superman is a baller, he saves the world and still gets the ladies, all while wearing his drawers!"

-Same man

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Zoo

Let me start by saying that I love going to the zoo. I've been to zoos (and aquariums) all around the country and the world. But as great as they are, wouldn't zoos be even better if there were more feedings scheduled for public viewing? Most of the time, you see tigers just lying down lazily or strolling around stalking nothing. Imagine if you could watch a tiger chase down and devour a deer? If not every day, at least every once in awhile...

(Editor's Note: Some of you might think the above example to be inhumane. Then how about at least showing us snakes eating mice. You know that happens all the time anyway. I want to see it. As great as it is, I'm tired of only seeing Sea Lions eat fish.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Well, look no further trivia buffs. Fresh off a victory at the Gael Pub last night, I stumbled on the new Ken Jennings Blog! I really like the blog so far, but it helps that I have some tendencies of sorts. In this post, Ken discusses why he does not go to the Gael Pub trivia night and others like it.

One of my favorite things

Whenever I go into the Spam folder on Gmail to delete some e-mails, there is always some sort Spam-related recipe on the top of the page. It is usually for Spam Confetti Pasta. Sounds delicious.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Curing Addiction?

This article discusses the science of addiction and the possibility of a cure. It also says that there might not be a cure...

Does this excerpt make sense to some people?

"People addicted to gambling and drugs look a lot alike," Shaffer told me when I visited him in his office in March. "Gamblers have to increase their bets to get the same level of excitement, just like someone addicted to drugs who has to keep using more to get an effect. When addicted gamblers cut back, they experience withdrawal symptoms that look like stimulant withdrawal. They get depressed, they're irritable and they have trouble sleeping. And if they gamble again, they can make the symptoms go away for the short run."

Coach K Sighting

Spotted in The Waldorf=Astoria (yes, read the link, the equals sign is legit) lobby. I was walking through on my way to work, listening to some David Cross stand-up when I saw the legend. Seeing a celebrity up close is always bizarre because a major one like Coach K is so instantly recognizable. You feel like you know him, even though you don't at all. A brief, but surreal experience.

Something to pass the time

Are you prejudiced? If so...how much? and about what? Check out the tests on this site to find out.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Communication

In watching a lot of the World Cup, there are teams from all over the world and referees from all over the world, many of whom speak completely different languages. Just now, the Portuguese goalkeeper was yelling at the Russian referee. Were they speaking English?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Who says Jews can't play football?

Argentina has two Jews! Fine, only one of them, Juan Pablo Sorin, is a player. But the coach, Jose Pekerman, has been an integral part of the team's success as well. Fantastic goal in extra time by Maxi Rodriguez. Not a Jew, but rumor has it he might convert. Argentina v. Germany should be the pick of the quarterfinal litter, but then again, if results go close to form, almost every match should be stellar. Gotta love the World Cup.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Metroid

The original Metroid game for NES is unbelievably difficult. I admit it.

A shocking number of people...

...come to visit this blog because of a search for this picture. I have probably seen this picture refer at least 5 people to my blog. Incredible. For more info, read this.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ghana 2-U.S.A. 1

The U.S. got the result from Italy (2-0 over the Czechs...poor Czech Republic, opening with that incredible win and ending up with nothing to show for it...I guess Jan Koller was pretty important, eh?) but couldn't beat Ghana. In fact, the Americans could not even tie Ghana. There will probably be a lot of griping about this result, and I think that a draw was most likely merited, but in the end, the U.S. simply could not score when it mattered most. Ghana is a very worthy sacrificial lamb for Brazil and I congratulate the Black Stars (that's actually their nickname, look at the flag) for advancing out of an extremely competitive group.

Certainly not 0-0

Well Ghana is up 2-1 at the half, a scoreline that I think flatters them. 1-1 was far more indicative of how the game was played, but that's soccer. However, I think that the penalty claim was very weak. Especially in a game as important as this for both nations. Maybe if Bocanegra had cleared the ball first this wouldn't have happened...Two defensive lapses, two goals for Ghana. Bring on Eddie Johnson and a second-half onslaught!

Anything but 0-0

I really want the U.S. to beat Ghana and advance to play Brazil...but if that can't happen, at the very least, there must be at least 1 goal in the game today that a lot of America is watching.

Also, it's finally happened. Isiah Thomas is going to coach the New York Knicks. Dreams can come true. The comedic potential of the team has reached new heights. Plus, we will now be rid of Isiah within a year! Two max.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This almost brought me to tears

Any major NES fan will love this retrospective on the greatest video game system yet created. I was especially impressed by the fact that both Stinger and Baseball Stars got written up!

I used to think...

...that colored shirts with white collars were the height of men's formal fashion. Now I don't. They are mostly for older people.

What would you give?

To make sure that President Bush was out of office...

But don't forget the great memories that he has given us.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

If you want to try more than just Guinness

Makes me wish I could go back to Ireland this summer...

Good for you Mark Cuban. Seriously.

I guess it's good that I don't waste my team in meetings? I waste it on the internet instead.

A review of the Mac vs. PC ads. I like this review.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A note to young people

Your speech patterns might be annoying. But you can probably improve upon them.

And the legend grows...

Yes, Dwyane Wade is that good. He almost singlehandedly won the game for the Heat last night (he was the only one doing anything on offense for the Heat for most of the 4th quarter and overtime). He is even better than Steve Nash, some might say. But I have to stop discussing that issue. Not only is it a moot point at this juncture, but there is no purpose in gloating any more. So, a few thoughts on the NBA Finals:

-There need to be fewer fouls and fewer timeouts at the end of NBA games. They make the games far less enjoyable to watch. In the World Cup, the clock never stops, so the tension continuously builds in a close game. Meanwhile, instead of building tension in the NBA, too many timeouts bore people to death. Three per team per game, with only one per team allowed to be taken in the final two minutes, would be more than enough. In addition, the rule that a timeout advances the ball to half court seems highly unfair (they don't have that rule in college). Why should you be able to increase your chances of scoring quickly by such a high percentage so easily (and by doing something that detracts from the game)? Take it away. Make NBA teams try to recreate Tyus Edney or Christian Laettner plays. It's highly unfair to the defenses to allow the offenses to get to half court immediately. And on the subject of fouls, too many are called and they have too large an impact on the game. Basketball, like most sports, is very physical. Yet it seems like any time a player drives to the basket, and there is even the slightest contact, the defense gets called for a foul or the offensive player is shocked when he doesn't get the call. These fouls slow the game down and, like timeouts, make it less fun to watch. No one wants to watch 20 free throws in the last two minutes of a game. We want to see these players showing off their incredible athleticism and creative abilities at full speed. Unfortunately, simply calling fewer fouls would just lead to a rougher game, so perhaps the best idea would be to make fouls more penal? One shot and the ball? Or players fouling out after 5 instead of 6? Experiment with some different scenarios in the D-League and see what happens.

-The NBA Finals lost all the momentum gained by the conference finals and have been swallowed up by the World Cup hysteria. How could they wait 5 days between the two series? After the excitement of basketball every night, the NBA just abandoned its audience. Furthermore, it makes no sense that this series is being played in the 2-3-2 format. The Heat just took full advantage of this fact and now have a good chance to win the series because of it. Would they have won Game 5 in Dallas? Perhaps not...How can they use one format (2-2-1-1-1)for every other round and then change things for the Finals? It makes no sense.

-As for the basketball itself, Wade was incredible of course (although he has to cut down on turnovers and was lucky to get that last foul call), as was Jason Terry for the Mavericks. Josh Howard played a fantastic game as well for the Mavs and I will be very surprised if this series does not go to a seventh game. The Mavs are still a better team and apparently home court means a whole lot...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

USA 1-Italy 1

Before the game I would have been pretty happy with this result. Afterwards I am a little disappointed (despite the fact that the U.S. played very well on the whole). The U.S. was gifted an equalizer and then, after an idiotic red card by Daniele De Rossi, a man advantage! But after some seriously questionable calls by the referee and some questionable tackles by U.S. players, the tables were turned and the Italians were playing 10 on 9. The Americans played valiantly after that and came close to winning the game, but a draw was certainly a fair result. That said, the one thing that shocked me about the game was the fact that Bruce Arena left one of his subs unused! Many of his players were exhausted (as well they should have been playing with only 9 on the field) and the U.S. might have been able to snatch a late winner if Arena had put in either Josh Wolff or Eddie Johnson. Terrible non-move by Arena. But at least the final day of Group E will be exciting.

Where I have been hanging out

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Talking out of the side one's mouth

Alex did a lot of it while he was being interviewed on the WPT show. Also, apparently all college students are in fraternities. Vince Van Patten and Mike Sexton continually referenced "the frat house" and Alex's "frat boy" buddies congratulating him. For the record, Alex was secretly in DKE, but that's not the point.

Other notes:

-Alex, I'm curious what your thoughts were on the turn of the QQ hand vs. Jordan. Obviously you had been playing with him a lot, so maybe you knew something I didn't...great river bet against Victor's 22...Larry Klur made some serious all-in bets there, was he playing very tight except for random stabs?

-Meyvis was a genius for sitting next to Jen. So much face time.

-Tom got only one real crowd shot (did the cameras prefer the handsome Ilan?). More importantly, however, his cackle was extremely loud and recognizable during the AK vs. 99 hand between Alex and Victor.

-Van Patten and Sexton also loved making GPA and other ridiculous school references and puns constantly. They couldn't have been happier to see Alex out there.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Watch Alex on TV!

On the Travel Channel. The first airing is almost over, but it is being repeated at midnight tonight. And I'm sure about a million other times. It is the Foxwoods Poker Classic.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Park Bench

Jen and I are seated in Washington Square Park. A disheveled man approaches us and sits down next to us.

Man (while examining a $5 bill): "What do you think of this? You think it's real? No, truly."
He hands me the bill. I examine it pretty closely.
Me: "Well, that looks pretty legitimate, it's even got the watermark."
I hand it back.
Man: "So you like my work, huh? It's a good thing I've got about 10,000 more of them at home!"
The man starts to walk away.
Me: "Take it easy, man."
Man (turning around): "No, no, YOU take it easy."

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Smart

After the Ivory Coast scores to pull within 2-1 against Argentina.

"A game that has been controlled by Argentina all night has just been turned around 360 degrees!"

The Reunion

A great time was had by all...I think. They should have these every six months. Unlikely conversations popping up in every direction. Jeff Zalaznick and Malcolm Hochenberg. Amazing. Awkwardness beyond belief with the guaranteed line of "What are you up to these days?" getting a little too much play. But of course what can you expect when some people haven't seen each other for 5 years? Although it would have been sort of funny to just start talking to people as if you spoke to them all the time. A final great thing about the festivities was trying to figure out when and how to end conversations. A well-timed trip to the bathroom or up to the bar was the standard, but when you were immediately seen chatting with someone else, things might have gotten dicey. But I guess that came the territory. Here's a peek at the events (thanks for smiling for the picture Ronny!):

Overheard at the Office

Secretary #1: "Ow Bone Pain."
Secretary #2: "What's that?"
Secretary #1: "Oh, it's a lunch place that serves Franco-American cuisine. They have this Mac and Cheese there that's like regular Mac and Cheese, only like a thousand times better."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kevin Smith talks about Superman

Sort of like a stand up routine. Watch the whole thing. There is a great punchline at the end.

Respek

It seems that I get more of this when I wear a suit. More accurately, random people ask me more questions when they see me in a suit. Just this week I have been singled out to tell people how to find the theaters in a movie multiplex and whether or not the 6 train stops at 86th street.

I was hoping that someone might ask me how to tie a half-windsor knot. Or that someone might simply compliment me on my suit, shirt, and tie combination. Oh well, I guess I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666

The truth behind the myth. Right here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Abolish the Penny!

Read about a more nuanced argument here.

Perhaps if people used a more effective scientific method, then this would have already happened.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ceci n'est pas un photo d'une peinture d'une pipe

Boxing

It seems like it used to be more exciting. At least I think so now after watching an HBO special about the fight between Marvelous Marvin Hagler (he actually legally changed his name to that) and Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns. Better nicknames too.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Pokey the Penguin

I forgot how much I liked these cartoons! Somehow, they almost always manage to make me laugh. Read them all here. I command you. Fine, one-a-day might be ok.

Elevator

On my way downstairs, a neighbor gets on the elevator with me. Instead of saying how are you or are you still in school, she says, "Are you still growing?"

Me: "Um, I don't think so, although I wouldn't mind a couple more inches."
Her: "Are you sure, you're pretty tall already. How tall are you?"
Me: "Well, about 5'10" or maybe 5'11" in shoes."
Her: "No, no, you're definitely 6'1". No doubt about it."
(The super gets on the elevator from the third floor)
Her: "Hey, how tall are you?"
Super: "About 5'11" or so."
Her: "Who's taller, you or him (gesturing to me)?"
Super (taking a cursory glance, knowing that he has to say me): "Yeah, he's definitely taller."
Me: "Well, if you guys say so I guess it's true. I better change my Driver License!"

And scene.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The National Spelling Bee

Somewhat entertaining, but pretty stupid on the whole. Who cares if some kids can spell these impossibly obscure words? They are useless in conversation, articles, novels, blogs, or anything else that involves interaction among a group of people larger than a child and his obsessive parents (a great proportion of participants are home-schooled). I happen to think that correct spelling is an important skill and I pride myself on bring very good at spelling. And even that mentality is admittedly somewhat irrational (because as long as your spelling is close, people generally understand what you are saying...an extreme case of this is addressed in the widely-known study discussed here).

The silliest thing to me about the whole thing is that the participants obviously all have excellent memories and are probably very smart. So to waste their talents on learning all these useless words is a terrible idea. Maybe instead of figuring out how to spell an obscure form of cancer, one of these bright children can work to eventually find a cure for it. (End of preachiness)

Ronaldinho

If you enjoy "The Beautiful Game," then make sure to read this interview and watch the incredible videos that go along with it. For the illiterate among you, watch Ronaldinho's remarkable game highlights, Ronaldinho get a new pair of boots (hitting the woodwork a few times in a performance reminiscent of the Tiger Woods wedge ad), and this splendid ad that juxtaposes little Ron with big Ron.

Schiavo Lives!

Or maybe she should have at least for a little longer?

Oh, and are three-legged jeans gonna be replaced by three-sleeved track jackets?

Internships

Some New York Times analysis. Maybe I should start a union...? Although I do get paid at least.